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The U.S. Geological Survey’s NetQuakes project is rolling out a new network of seismograph sensors that will form a denser network of readings to better measure ground motion during earthquakes. The new type of digital seismograph connects to a local network via WiFi and transmits its data direct to the USGS after an earthquake of […]


The U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with GeoEye to provide OrbView-3 one-meter satellite images from between 2003 and 2007 for free download via the USGS EarthExplorer. You may recall that the OrbView-3 satellite was put out of service in 2007 due to a malfunction of electronics, and has since been guided to a controlled reentry […]

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Landsat 5 Suffers Electronics Failure

by Matt Ball on November 18, 2011

The USGS reports today that the 27-year-old Landsat 5 Earth observation satellite has a degrading electronic component that is preventing the satellite from transmitting images to ground stations. The fluctuating performance of this component has been monitored over the past few months and over the last ten days the data downlink capacity has dramatically worsened. […]


USGS Launches Historical Topographic Map Collection

by Matt Ball on September 12, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey has just released the Historical Topographic Map Collection that includes published U.S. maps of all scales and editions as either georeferenced digital download or as a scanned prints available from the USGS Store. There are now more than 90,000 maps available of the 200,000+ created since the USGS founding more than […]


USGS Data and Team Find Missing Educator

by Matt Ball on May 30, 2011

A Colombian educator that was lost in the swamps south of New Orleans for five days was found on Friday thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Science Response Vehicle (SRV) Team and the National Park Service (NPS). The official was located using maps and geospatial data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s The search and rescue […]


The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is now in the process of scanning an estimated 250,000 printed topographic map quadrangles that have been archived since the inception of the program in 1884. The reason for the estimated quantity is that no full set exists, and no database existed to keep track of all the […]


‘“What is a Map?” is More Relevant than Ever’ was the title and topic of The National Map Conference keynoter Frederick Reuss, author of five novels, including his recent “A Geography of Secrets” that addresses secrecy in public and private life in present-day Washington. Reuss provided a layman’s perspective as a user of maps, a […]


Making Smart Decisions About Global Change

by Matt Ball on February 10, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey has recently completed a draft strategy for tackling global change through the application of natural science research and application. The study looks at significant issues facing our world, such as climate and land use change, natural hazards, water, energy, natural resource limits, and impacts to ecosystems. The USGS “There are three […]


The U.S. Geological Survey has released the Gap Analysis Program (GAP) national land cover dataset of the entire continental United States as both a data download and online viewer. The mission of the program is to “keep common species common” by identifying quality habitat to support wildlife. The effort effectively creates a baseline for biodiversity […]


USGS Maps Thermal Energy Potential

by Matt Ball on June 9, 2010

The U.S. Geological Survey has just made the map data for their assessment of geothermal energy potential in the Western United States available via interactive maps. The map depicts the favorability of geothermal potential as well as their location, and there are GIS data downloads as well as the means to view the data on […]